As a kid my mum would tell me I had sweet blood.
This wasn't some creepy British form of endearment, but due to the fact that at the first hint of warmth in the air, mosquitos would descend and eat me alive. The thing was, it wasn't just that they like to eat me, it was that each bite would also blow up like a balloon, and I'd head to school after the Summer break looking like Quasimodo: with one eye half shut from a bite on my face and golf ball type lumps on my arms and legs. As you might have guessed it made me REALLY popular... not.
As I got older, these giant swellings got a little less horrendous but instead I'd look like I was covered in love-bites, my friends thought I was dying after one particularly humid insect-friendly night in India left me waking up looking like I had the plague.
I have tried everything: mosquito nets, weird things to suck the "sting out," toothpaste, steroids, candles, natural remedies, and 100 percent deet - which does mostly work, but its poison and you start to feel a little like you are poisoning yourself from the outside-in after wearing it more than a day. I would note that is because you are literally slathering yourself in poison.
Then just before a trip to both the human and mosquito paradise that is St Kitts, someone randomly introduced me to Korean Insect bite patches. These odd little cartoons were like a cross between a band-aid filled with what I can only ascertain as magic. When I put them on post-bite, rather than descending into a crazy hickey & itchy hell, the bites stayed small - a little pink, but normal. OMG it was a game changer!
Now I want to add that you look a little crazy going to the buffet breakfast covered in cartoon characters. I have since found THESE clear ones which are much more adult. Now full disclosure they aren't perfect, you need to get them on within about 5 minutes of a bite for them to work, and they don't protect against mosquito transmitted illness or STD's for that matter. I still wear long sleeved tops and pants and sleep with the fans on, but if you are headed somewhere tropical on your next trip I would highly recommend adding them to your carry on.